A local library is a great thing to have and we are lucky to have a fine one here in River Heights. Library lovers must have had a few pangs of withdrawal this past summer as our library was closed for a few weeks for some essential building repairs. But things are back to normal now at 1520 Corydon Avenue.
This library was built by the City of Winnipeg back in 1961 on land purchased from the Winnipeg School Board. It was a permanent replacement for the travelling bookmobile that used to stop at Corydon and Waterloo and by all reports was heavily used.
But what of our present facility, are physical libraries still valid today in this age of instant internet access and Wikipedia? Well, a lot of people think so.
The River Heights branch lends 315,000 items annually, which is over 1200 per business day. Some people just like the feel and texture of a book in their hands. But there’s far more to our libraries than just books.
Library membership is of course free to all Winnipeg residents and at our branch, like most others, you’ll find not just books but magazines, current newspapers, both local and international, music and video on CD, DVD and Blu-ray, and audio books and cassettes.
Members can borrow up to fifty items at a time and although the library may have to be open to pick them up, they can be returned after hours through the drop-off chute. Three weeks is the normal borrowing period for most items, but if you haven’t finished with them, these can be renewed either in person at any branch or over the automated phone line or through the library website.
I find our library website to be an excellent resource, not just for renewing material but also for searching and requesting materials, which will then be delivered by the library to your local branch and you’ll be informed either by automated phone call or e-mail that it’s ready for you and awaiting pick up.
Are you a book club member? A popular excuse for social get togethers these days. If so, did you know that the library has book club kits? Ten copies of each book complete with discussion guide, reading list suggestions and tips for running your club. These kits can be borrowed for sixty days by one person for all book club members to read. And they’re not just for adult clubs, they also have them with both children and young adult themes, in both English and en Francais.
Are you an e-book reader? Did you know that you can borrow e-books and download them to your device at no cost? As a Winnipeg public library member you are entitled to do this and their list of available e-books is growing daily. Instead of going to i-Tunes or Amazon and inputting your credit card number, go to e-Libraries Manitoba and input your library card number. You may need to install the Overdrive Media Console app on your device first, available for free download from the i-Tunes store.
e-books can be borrowed for a three week period just like regular books and the really neat thing is that you don’t have to return them; once the three weeks are over the titles automatically disappear from your device. But just like a real book they can be renewed if you haven’t finished reading them.
Music can also be downloaded free of charge with a service offered by Freegal in conjunction with the library. At the moment users are limited to three songs a week, but once downloaded these songs are yours to keep forever.
Our River Heights library has a dedicated children’s section in the basement level and offers many programs for children throughout the year.
Also in the basement is a meeting room with seating for 60 people. This room is available for the public to rent at a nominal charge, which may even be waived if you’re a non-profit organization.
Need to dispose of old batteries or even old cell phones? The library now offers a re-cycling facility where you can drop them off.
Remember there’s more to our library than just books.
Remember also that the River Heights branch is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.
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